City of Ballarat’s long-running spat with the National Broadband Network Co. may be coming to an end, after the city received another big cash sum to fix issues remaining from the broadband rollout.
NBN Co. has recently signed a $500,000 agreement with council to address the damage during installation of the high-speed fibre network not fixed by NBN and their respective subcontractors.
It is yet another payment to the city since the company and subcontractors’ disastrous regime of installing cable began in 2013.
The Courier has previously reported on Redan residents whose yards have been filled with concrete after installation, asbestos being left on nature strips and in plastic bags dumped near primary schools by NBN contractors, and workers ignoring Ballarat’s heritage overlays.
In 2015, the council received $99,600 for inspecting and repairing shoddy workmanship in Ballarat by the communications company and their subcontractors, with NBN Co. promising an extra $53,000 compensation to arrive just weeks after.
In a response posted to their website, City of Ballarat’s director of infrastructure and environment said the municipality had signed an agreement and invoiced NBN Co. for almost half a million dollars.
“The main issues this agreement focused on was around damage to council infrastructure including footpaths, nature strips and other public areas,” Mr Demeo said. “It does not address issues in relation to private land or specific telecommunications issues.”
“The $500,000 will cover our anticipated costs … Council has undertaken extensive auditing of the outstanding NBN issues and agreed to this amount considering this extensive research.”
The works are expected to be completed throughout the 2018-19 financial year.
At a federal parliament NBN joint standing committee in April 2017, council staff revealed at the damage to Ballarat from the broadband rollout could cost $13 million to rectify, with over 6000 outstanding instances of infrastructure destruction not rectified.
Mr Demeo stated at a council meeting on August 22 this year that the city was now facing remaining 800 problems due to the rollout.
A spokesperson for NBN Co. stated the details of the deal were considered confidential, but they were confident all issues had been accounted for.
Specific details of nbn’s engagement with the City of Ballarat are confidential.An NBN Co. spokesperson
“nbn has maintained a positive working relationship with the City of Ballarat to address its concerns related to nbn’s construction program and is confident that all issues have now been addressed,” the spokesperson said.